Senior citizens and retired public servants in the country wants the Federal Government, to put in place special health care scheme for the elderly to improve their mental well being.
They made the appeal in Abuja, at a forum organised by an NGO, Delkog Foundation, designed to seek ways of improving the health needs of the aged in the society.
Some of the them, 103 years old Hajara Inuwa, and Abubakar Abu 92 years, said the challenges associated with old age can lead to death if not properly managed and attended toto .
“We call on government agencies to come to the aid of all the old people of the country and help build physical bodies, social life and provide shelter”. They said.
A guest speaker at the forum, Dr Blessing Ejemogo, said that the old people faces physical, social and psychological challenges that affects their mental health.
She called on government to adequately taken care of them, as they require care, support and policy driven intervention system.
According to Dr Ejemogo, “The life expectancy of an average Nigerian is fifty four years, according to World Health Organization, if we all want to live long what are we doing to ensure that people around us live long? the only way is to start caring for the aged, Knowing that aging is a blessing. We visit them, we are like their children and family”.
The Convener of the forum, Johnson Ejemogo also harped on the need to extend love and empower the aged particularly those who are homeless.
“They should try as much as possible to reach out. We have a lot of people who are in this kind of condition not really cattered for by government, without family members no husband no child how do they survive. We identify them not base on recommendation we should value life like the western world. We have people under our medical support”. He noted.
The Forum provided medical checkup, cash and food distribution to the aged.
Reporting by Sarah Gimba; editing by Seyi Ajibade & Julian Osamoto